Nearly 54% of all travelers traveled alone last year, says the Travel Industry Association of America. The number of solo business travelers is even higher. To ensure safety and ease for your journey, those going solo should take special precautions and use common sense. “Leave travel plans with a friend or family member,” advises Natalie Windsor, author of The Safe Tourist: Hundreds of Proven Ways to Outsmart Trouble (Corkscrew Press, $8.95) Other tips: streamline your wallet or purse by only carrying two forms of ID and one or two credit cards. Leave fine jewelry at home and don’t carry excess luggage; both will draw unwanted attention. At meetings and conventions, remove your name badge before leaving the facility. “You don’t have to walk around paranoid–just be prepared,” offers Windsor.
Women should take extra precautions. Wyndham Hotels offers tips on the Internet (www.womenbusiness travelers.com) to female guests, but these are applicable to any traveler. Among them: wear a wedding ring to ward off unwanted advances; have security accompany you to a parking lot; keep your final destination confidential; insert a laminated business card into your luggage tag instead of revealing your personal info; and never volunteer the fact that you’re traveling alone.